Searches and Hires

Phoenix City Employees flies with First Eagle for international equities

Phoenix City Employees' Retirement System hired First Eagle Investment Management to run about $70 million in active international value equities, said Greg Fitchet, investment officer, in an email.

The $2.6 billion pension fund conducted shortlist searches for three portfolios following the Oct. 4 board approval of a restructuring of its international developed markets equities portfolio. The restructuring is the result of a March 2017 asset allocation overhaul that included reducing the international developed markets equity target to 9% from 16% and the creation of an emerging markets equity target of 8%.

In November, the pension fund hired Northern Trust Asset Management to run about $77 million in passive international equities following the terminations of Grantham, Mayo, van Otterloo & Co. from a $114 million active value equity portfolio, State Street Global Advisors from a $79 million passive low-volatility equity equity portfolio and Mondrian Investment Partners from a $71 million active small-cap equity portfolio. Baillie Gifford, which ran a $199 million active growth equity portfolio, was reduced to $77 million and the pension fund shifted the allocation to Baillie Gifford's EAFE Pure Focus strategy from its ACWI ex-U.S. Alpha strategy.

For the international value equity search, the pension fund's board at its meeting Thursday selected First Eagle following finalist interviews. The other finalists were Artisan Partners (APAM) and Hexavest.

A shortlist search for the third portfolio, an active international small-cap equity portfolio of about $25 million, will begin in March, with finalist interviews scheduled for April and a decision expected shortly thereafter.

Investment consultant Meketa Investment Group assists with all manager searches.